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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Atlantic Provinces
BBB Warns: Mystery Shopping Scams Making the Rounds in Atlantic Canada
April 11, 2014

There has been an increase in call to your BBB office, from consumers inquiring about unsolicited requests that they have received to become a mystery shopper. If you love to shop, working as a mystery shopper or secret shopper may sound like an ideal way to supplement your income.  Unfortunately, consumers who go along with these offers are often out hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Consumers have reported receiving a mystery shopping job offer letter along with a very official looking cheque. Cheques have ranged in amounts between two and four thousand dollars. Consumers are asked to deposit the cheque immediately into their bank account. The letter tells the consumer that they must first spend $100 on any product from one of a number of well-known stores. Then the consumer is told that they will be helping a money wire transfer service such as Western Union or Money Gram evaluate the service and performance of its agents. Consumers can do this by wiring a large amount of money to their job assignment coordinators. Confidentiality is requested from the consumer. If all of this is completed then the consumer will be paid $400. However, the cheque is fake and the consumer is out a great deal of money.

The BBB suggests the following:

Check with BBB before doing business with any firm.

Be wary when you receive an unsolicited cheque, in the mail, for work you have not agreed to or performed.

Never agree to cash a cheque and wire money back to a company or individual.

Be wary when you are offered a job without first being interviewed, or trained for the position.

Ignore claims that you will make big profits easily.

Never provide personal information or post resumes on unsecured, unknown employment websites.